by Peter Kunz (ERCIM)

January 2024 marks the conclusion of the ambitious European H2020 project, TERMINET, which envisions a revolutionary next-generation IoT architecture. Combining state-of-the-art technologies like SDN, multiple-access edge computing, and virtualization, TERMINET aims to transform the IoT landscape with intelligent devices tailored for low-latency, market-driven use cases.

The project, a collaborative effort of 27 academic and industry partners, attracted third-party involvement in key R&D areas through open calls and a substantial cascading funding scheme. These areas include service deployment across edge computing, IoT nodes, SDN control enablement, security by design models, privacy enhancement through blockchain technologies, and the application of federated models and machine learning algorithms.

A notable achievement of TERMINET is its Integrated Platform, for the complex task of integrating systems in various domains. This integration leverages Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) and microservices approaches, ensuring flexibility and independence across services. The project also emphasizes the design of a novel orchestration framework for its MEC-based platform, addressing the convergence of communication and computing networks. This framework promises to optimise computational accuracy, delay, and energy use, leveraging mobile edge computing for next-generation IoT applications.

The project's results are validated through six diverse use cases, each showcasing TERMINET's versatility and impact across sectors. These use cases are:

  • User-Centric Devices in Smart Farming
  • Pathway of Personalised Healthcare
  • Smart, Sustainable, and Efficient Buildings
  • Prediction and Forecasting System for Optimising the Supply Chain in Dairy Products
  • Group Training Surgery Using VR-enabled IoT Technologies
  • Mixed Reality and ML Supported Maintenance and Fault Prediction of IoT-based Critical Infrastructure.

In the agricultural sector, TERMINET’s “User Centric Devices in Smart Farming” use case explores IoT applications in livestock management. By integrating sensors and wearables, this initiative enhances farm productivity, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. TERMINET's technologies enable farmers to monitor and optimize agricultural processes, leveraging Federated Learning for decision-making.

TERMINET’s  Pathway of Personalised Healthcare use case showcases the project's impact on healthcare. It involves creating a comprehensive clinical dashboard aggregating data from various hospital departments, coupled with predictive models to assist doctors in decision-making. This initiative is supported by TERMINET’s technologies like Edge-X TERMINENT and Federated Learning framework, illustrating the synergy of edge computing and AI in healthcare.

Another innovative contribution comes from TERMINET’s collaboration with Ericsson, focusing on predictive maintenance in optical modules. Utilizing federated learning, Ericsson could enhance predictive models for optical modules under harsh environmental conditions, demonstrating TERMINET's role in advancing AI applications while respecting data privacy.

TERMINET also addresses challenges like data integration and machine learning applications for predictive maintenance and resource optimization. Its edge computing capabilities play a crucial role in enabling real-time, efficient data processing. All this is relevant for “smart buildings”.

The project's edge-based Federated Learning approach signifies a major step in IoT evolution. By embedding intelligence at the edge and utilizing Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and virtualized Multi-access Edge Computing (vMEC), TERMINET fosters rapid, optimized decision-making while ensuring data privacy and security. 
TERMINET's mixed reality and machine learning use case, focuses on maintenance and fault prediction in critical infrastructure. This application demonstrates the project's capacity to blend reality with technology, improving operational efficiency and predictive capabilities in industrial settings.

Moreover, TERMINET's venture into blockchain technologies in IoT ecosystems underlines its commitment to data privacy, security, and immutability. The blockchain framework developed within the project ensures secure, private, and immutable transaction records, vital for all use cases involving sensitive data.

TERMINET’s approach, spanning healthcare, agriculture, smart buildings, and network maintenance, exemplifies the transformative potential of IoT and AI. Its collaborative framework, integrating advanced technologies and diverse expertise, paves the way for a smarter, more connected future. The project has showcased innovative developments in the IoT sector, signalling a new era filled with interconnected and smart technologies that are transforming a wide range of industries.

ERCIM contributed its experience with the Web of Things as an RDF-based abstraction layer for the IoT, Linked Data, semantic modelling and cognitive approaches to IoT agents using chunks and rules.

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